Sporting CP vs Barcelona, live online: Champions League
Welcome to our live online coverage of Sporting Clube de Portugal vs FC Barcelona in matchday 2 of the 2017/18 Champions League. Kick-off at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon is at 19:45 local time (20:45 CEST) Wednesday 27 September 2017, and we'll be building up to it throughout the day.
Sporting Clube vs Barcelona live online: latest news
Sporting Clube vs Barcelona live online: match preview
Beautiful Lisbon is the setting for this second group game between the two sides that have already claimed three points and both managers know that another win would put them in a great position to qualify for the knockout stages.
The Champions League three-point start for the Lions beating Olympiakos 2-3 in their own back yard had continued their excellent start to the season. Not until last weekend – in a 1-1 draw against Moreirense – had Sporting dropped points and manager Jorge Jesus denied that it had anything to do with thoughts of the Spanish giants coming to town.
“I don’t think the game against Barcelona weighed heavy; the fact we played poorly in the opening 45 minutes wasn’t to do with that. After the break, we were fighting again, and we could have gone 2-1 up,” he said after the draw.
Positive news for Jesus is that he has no injury worries ahead of what will be by far and away their toughest test of the campaign. Striker Bas Dost and supporting Gelson Martins are looking good with four and three goals respectively. Add to their threat the five goals in seven games from midfielder Bruno Fernandes, plus a noisy home support, and we have the recipe for a very interesting night. Barça will start favourites but will be guilty of negligence to take their opponents too lightly.
Sitting pretty at the top of LaLiga after six games, with a surprising seven points between them and expected title rivals Real Madrid, Barcelona will arrive in good spirits for this match in Lisbon.
Ernesto Valverde's team have notched up six league wins out of six, to go with the most impressive result this season, a 3-0 victory over Juventus in their Champions League opener, and the new manager has been encouraged with strong performances from fellow new recruits Paulinho, Nélson Semedo and the returning Gerard Deulofeu. The latter has a chance to stake a claim for a regular starting birth alongside Luis Suárez and Lionel Messi in the forced absence of record signing Ousmane Dembélé.
Goals have been in plentiful supply both at home at away with a combined total of 23 for and 2 against in the seven games. Sporting will do well to keep their net unbothered for the full 90 minutes. One of the main reasons for Barça’s success in front of goal has been the scintillating early form of their continued talisman, Messi, who has 11 goals to his name. Quieting the Argentine genius will surely be part of Sporting’s plans, but that’s a tough ask and often just provides others with more freedom to have an impact. On the potential that another man-marking job will be imposed on the mercurial number 10, Valverde agreed saying:
“Messi being man-marked is something that can happen. But it’s also certain that it will create openings for us to take advantage of.”
Sporting Clube vs Barcelona: potential line-ups
Sporting Clube XI: Patrício, Piccini, Coates, Mathieu, Coentrao, Carvalho, Rodrigo Battaglia, Fernandes, Acuña, Martins, Dost
Head coach: Jorge Jesus
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Deulofeu.
Head coach: Ernesto Valverde
Sporting Clube vs Barcelona live stream online: betting
As expected, Barcelona are backed strongly by the bookmakers despite it being an away game with them almost 3/1 ON to win. If you’re looking for some better value for your euro, why not consider Sporting to have a hard-fought half-time lead but the Catalans to come through in the second half? That wager would turn 10 euros into 160 euros.